NIOSH logo and tagline

NOISE AND HEARING LOSS PREVENTION

Key Publications

A collage of the front covers of the major NIOSH noise hearing loss publications

NIOSH – Criteria For a Recommended Standard: Occupational Noise Exposure
NIOSH establishes Recommended Exposure Limits (REL) for noise based on the best available science and practice. The NIOSH REL for noise is 85 decibels, using the A-weighting frequency response (often written as dBA) over an 8-hour average, usually referred to as Time-Weighted Average (TWA). Exposures at or above this level are considered hazardous.

OSHA – Occupational noise exposure 1910.95External
OSHA sets legal limits on noise exposure in the workplace. These limits are based on a worker’s time weighted average over an 8 hour day. With noise, OSHA’s permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 90 dBA for all workers for an 8 hour day.

NIOSH – Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss – A Practical Guide
This guide is intended to assist employers to develop and maintain hearing loss prevention programs; it provides practical information and guidelines on the eight major components of a hearing loss prevention program: (1) noise exposure monitoring, (2) engineering and administrative controls, (3) audiometric evaluation, (4) use of hearing protection devices, (5) education and motivation, (6) record keeping, (7) program evaluation, and (8) hearing loss prevention program audit.

NIOSH Hearing Protector Device Compendium
The NIOSH Hearing Protector Device Compendium is a comprehensive searchable database of hearing protection devices. This web tool is intended to help workers and safety professionals select the most appropriate product for their unique environment. The tool identifies hearing protector devices by type, manufacturer, and noise exposure level.

NIOSH Directory of Engineering Controls
This directory page links to NIOSH engineering control related webpages, projects, programs, tools and resources created to improve workplace health and safety.

Preventing Occupational Exposures to Lead and Noise at Indoor Firing Ranges
This Alert presents five case reports that document lead and noise exposures of law enforcement officers and students. The Alert examines firing range operations, exposure assessment and control methods, existing regulations, and exposure standards and guidelines.

NIOSH Workplace Solutions – Reducing Exposure to Lead and Noise at Indoor Firing Ranges
This two-page Workplace Solutions document provides clear and simple recommendations to workers, occupational shooters, and operators of indoor firing ranges to reduce their occupational exposure to airborne lead and high-intensity noise.

NIOSH Workplace Solutions – Exposure to Lead and Noise at Outdoor Firing Ranges
This two-page Workplace Solutions document provides clear and simple recommendations to workers, occupational shooters, and operators of outdoor firing ranges to reduce their occupational exposure to airborne lead and high-intensity noise.

NIOSH Workplace Solutions – Reducing Noise Hazards for Call and Dispatch Center Operators
This two-page Workplace Solutions document provides clear and simple recommendations to reduce noise-induced hearing loss for call and dispatch center operators.

NIOSH Workplace Solutions – Promoting Hearing Health among Fire Fighters
This two-page Workplace Solutions document provides clear and simple recommendations to promote better hearing health and protect against noise-induced hearing loss among fire fighters.

NIOSH Workplace Solutions – Reducing the Risk of Hearing Disorders among Musicians
This two-page Workplace Solutions document provides clear and simple recommendations to protect musicians against hearing disorders from exposure to high music levels on the job.

NIOSH Workplace Design Solutions – Preventing Hazardous Noise and Hearing Loss during Project Design and Operation
Prevention through design can be defined as designing out or eliminating safety and health hazards associated with processes, structures, equipment, tools, or work organization. This document describes case studies in which noise controls were implemented that reduced worker noise exposure.

Page last reviewed: February 6, 2018